The city of Bloomington has asked the FBI to investigate after a rope resembling a noose was found in a black firefighter’s locker.
The piece of rope was tied into “what appears to be a crude noose” and was discovered in the firefighter’s gear locker at the Bloomington fire station on June 15, according to the city. The discovery was reported to Fire Department leaders on June 23.
“Acts like this that embody hate, intimidation, and aggression will not be tolerated,” Fire Chief Ulie Seal said in a statement. “The firefighter who brought this to our attention has demonstrated extreme strength and bravery and has done the right thing.”
In a statement Saturday, Bloomington Mayor Tim Busse he was “disgusted, angry, and embarrassed by this cowardly act.”
“To be clear, this incident is very serious and is being dealt with aggressively,” Busse said.
Busse said he spoke to city staff in a town hall forum this week and made clear that such actions will not be tolerated. Next week, he said the city will bring in a mental health consultant to address trauma resulting from racial traumatic events.
Further, the City Council will make racial equity the primary focus of its July 13 meeting, Busse said. The city’s racial equity coordinator will introduce a plan to guide officials in urgently advancing racial equity.
“I recognize that learning about this incident may be particularly traumatic for our Black community members given the history of nooses being used as a symbol of hate and intimidation and a tool of horrific violence,” Busse said. “I want you to know that I am here and I am available if you would like to contact me.”
The city said it will release a statement with any additional information by Monday at 3:30 p.m.
Anyone who has information or wants to report a hate crime should call the FBI’s Minneapolis field office at 763-569-8000.